Wednesday, 14 June 2017

How Would You Like Your Eggs?

I can't say enough about the resilience of my incredible wife; she has been a champ through this entire process. On top of dealing with this crap all on her own, she has had to deal with my insecurities as well. It's been difficult for me to push away this feeling of being a sperm donor being as my job is basically just to show up and make a deposit. Relinquishing the thought of making a baby the natural way has removed any feeling of a connection to the process for me. Kay has recognized the difficulty for me and has worked very hard to include me as closely as possible in the process.

As you read in her previous post, the IVF process required 3-4 self-administered injections per day. Kay was at work for the first injection she had to give herself and in an effort to include me, she made me a video. It included a lot of focused breathing and counting to three several times over while she gathered the courage to stick herself in the belly with her needle full of hormones. I don't think I explained to her how much this video meant to me but it truly did wonders to shorten the distance I felt from Kay's journey.

She took this even further the day she allowed me to administer one of her injections. One of the medications she had to take needed to be mixed prior to use, caused a burning sensation, and had a larger needle. Understandably, she didn't let me administer that injection, but she did allow me to give her the "space needle", because all it required was twisting the controller knob to the correct dose, slowly sticking it into her skin, and pushing down the plunger with my thumb. The level of trust it must have taken for Kay to allow me to do this really confirms for me that we're meant to be together - especially since my hands are prone to shaking when I'm doing fine tasks that require a high level of dexterity.

When she couldn't take a video or let me participate, she would send me emails outlining her day leading up to and explaining her appointments in vivid detail. She would tell me what the doctors were like, how she felt going into the appointments, and the results of tests that she had taken. Communicating isn't a difficult thing to do but it's something that is easy to overlook and the care she took in making me a part of this whole process truly meant the world to me. Although my level of participation in the planning of my wedding might suggest otherwise, I am not a "tell me when to show up" kind of person; I want to be involved and included, and I want to make decisions. Any idiot can provide a sperm sample, it takes something more to be a father - and that's what Kay gave back to me.

After all the injections, and ultrasounds, and blood tests, and appointments, and discomfort, the time finally came for the egg retrieval. We were scheduled for retrieval on a Monday so I had to take that day off work because Kay wouldn't be able to drive due to Fentanyl sedation. She was a little nervous because of this, but I was confident she would breeze through it. We made the all too familiar drive to the downtown clinic and didn't say much for the whole ride. When we got there we sat patiently in the waiting room for the nurse to call us in. When she did, I asked if I should come too, and she said "Yes of course, you're an equally important part of the equation" which put a big smile on my face and definitely calmed my nerves a little bit.

We were led to a room at the far back part of the clinic and Kay was given a pile of clothes and directed to the change room. She came out wearing a gown, a housecoat, a hairnet and some slippers seriously looking like she was wearing a bed and could lay down and fall asleep anywhere. The nurse came in and took Kay's vitals and then the embryologist came in to tell us the process. She would take Kay in and then shortly after another nurse would come and get me so that I could provide my sample which would be used to fertilize the eggs retrieved. They took Kay away and then, as promised, another nurse came to escort me to Andrology. I turned in my last sample, hoping that all my healthy eating, no-booze, exercising, and ball-icing had paid off, and then returned to the waiting room.

I didn't have to wait too long before they came to tell me Kay was in recovery and I could come sit with her. When I got there I was reminded of my surgery that seemed to kick everything off, but in reverse. Kay was drifting in and out of sleep when I sat down beside her bed, she looked at me briefly and said very slowly, "I'm glad you're here, and I want to talk to you, but my words are very heavy." Then she fell asleep again. About a minute later she woke up and said with a very confused look on her face, "Am I wearing a hairnet?", I replied, "No" and she mumbled something about someone taking it off of her before drifting off to sleep again. I sat there for a while behind the curtain, feeling guilty again that she had to go through all of this, when she woke up and looked me straight in the face and said "Am I wearing a hairnet?". I couldn't help but laugh and she was a little put off, but eventually put together that she had asked me the same question about a minute earlier.

The embryologist came in and told us that she did extremely well; she managed to collect 16 eggs and the sperm sample I provided was the highest count yet (about 330K), definitely enough to use to fertilize all the eggs. She told us that she would call us the next day and let us know how many eggs had fertilized to become embryos, and that she would call every day after that  to let us know how many had lasted each day of the maturation process. Once Kay was fully awake we were told we could go. I helped Kay get dressed and escorted her to the car knowing full well that the next week was going to be a very difficult one.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this post! The love, loyalty and teamwork you and Kay share is incredible. Love you both!